If you’re gearing up to get started on a program to build muscle at home, it pays to have a firm game plan in place.
Since you are going to have limited equipment options in your home workout, this means less variety when it comes to the type of exercises performed.
In addition to that, you may not be able to lift as much weight as you normally would without a spotter present as you go about your session – or without the plate weight, you require to maximally challenge yourself.
As such, it’s going to come down to really pinpointing some advanced conditioning techniques that you can use that will still allow you to build muscle through challenging your body.
Remember, to build muscle fast, you need to apply an overloading stimulus – a level of stress that the body hasn’t seen before. Accomplish this and you’re golden. Progress will be made.
Fail to accomplish this however and you’ll just be spinning your wheels, maintaining your physique. Now, this may be fine for some people. They’re happy with how they look and the strength they possess and if they just keep their body as-is, they’re on tract.
But for most of you, you want more. You want to constantly push the boundaries on what your body is capable of doing and take your journey to the next level.
For all of you who are reading this right now, the following techniques are going to come in helpful.
The Best Ways To Build Muscle At Home…
Run The Rack
The very first super intense technique that you may wish to use as you go about your workout protocol is something called ‘running the rack’.
Now, being you are aiming to build muscle at home, you may not have a weight rack present. That’s okay. As long as you have dumbbells of various weights (preferably three consecutive weight levels or more), this will work.
What you’ll do is perform one set at the heaviest weight you can handle for 8-10 reps.
Once that set is completed, rest for about 10-15 seconds and then drop the weight one level and perform your next set. Make sure you maintain good form. It’s easy to let form slip as fatigue sets in but keep in mind that you won’t be able to build muscle at all if you’re sidelined with an injury.
Once that second set is completed, drop the weight again. Rest for 10-15 seconds (the less rest, the better), and then pick up the weight and go in for a third set.
If you have more weight levels beyond that, you can definitely attempt a fourth and fifth set as well. Just as long as you maintain proper form – that’s what matters.
This is a very intense protocol and should be used on only one exercise per workout, typically at the end of the session to really finish you off.
Another protocol that’s somewhat similar in nature as it has you reducing the rest time between exercises is the superset.
This protocol is going to be more ideal for those who are looking to get a strong muscle pump or work multiple muscle groups in less time.
What you’ll do with a superset is take two exercises and pair them back to back. Only once both exercises are completed should you take your allotted rest period.
You can perform supersets in many different ways – same muscle group supersets, opposing muscle group supersets, or an upper and lower body part superset if you’re doing a full body workout.
If you go with the upper/lower body part superset, it will be more intense – especially if using compound movements, so just make sure you are keeping track of your total recovery. Don’t perform too many of these in one workout or you may find yourself burnt out in no time.
Next, also consider adding some cardio intervals between your working sets. This is a great way to stay lean as you build muscle as it’ll challenge your cardiovascular level to a larger degree.
Since you will still be inducing a state of fatigue during this protocol, it’s still going to be adding that additional stimulus and stress to the muscle cells.
Try skipping, burpees, mountain climbers, or squat or lunge jumps if doing an upper body exercise.
Tread carefully when using this technique for your home workout if you are doing a lower body workout. Since your legs will need to be working maximally on the weight lifting moves you do, you won’t want them to be overly fatigued from a cardio interval.
Also, keep in mind that if your primary goal is to build muscle fast and aren’t as worried about fat gain, skip this protocol as you won’t want to be boosting your calorie burn quite as high during your workout session.
Pause And Hold
Moving along, another great technique to consider that will help you take your workouts up a notch is the pause and hold technique.
This one works in two different ways.
First, it’s going to help ensure that you are not using momentum at all as you go about the exercise. Far too many people allow momentum to push them up through the movement, which means their target muscle is really doing very little work total.
By pausing, you stop all momentum and force your muscles to do the job they are supposed to be doing.
The second reason this works is that the pause is going to happen while you are under tension, therefore, it’s going to increase your total time under tension of each set.
Since muscle growth is, in part, due to total time under tension, you can hopefully see how this helps out.
When doing the pause technique, aim to take the pause at the midway point or wherever you happen to feel weakest in the movement pattern.
It’s here that you need the greatest strength gains, so by using the pause, that is precisely what you will achieve.
Finally, another technique that’s closely aligned with the pause and hold technique is the half reps. With this technique, rather than moving through the full range of motion, you’re going to perform a number of half reps instead. You often see this when people perform a shoulders workout or other muscle group.
Again, aim to do this during the weakest phase of the movement. So for instance, for most people, it would be the lower half of the bicep curl or the lower half of the squat.
Do a few half reps and then once finished, try and crank out five to six full reps of the movement after that. Watch how fatigued you are as you do so.
You can also take this one step further and do the 21 technique where you perform 7 reps in the lowest phase of the movement, 7 reps in the upper phase of the movement, and 7 reps using the whole phase of the movement.
So keep these advanced techniques in mind. When you’re aiming to build muscle at home, you will have to get more creative with how you design your workout for optimal muscle stimulation, but with these on hand, you can definitely still make excellent progress and see the strength and size gains that you’re after.
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